The Bellingham Herald digital news subscriptions now available

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDDecember 17, 2012 

To Our Readers:

Newspaper websites around the country have begun charging readers for access for the last couple of years, including several of our neighboring newspapers. Beginning Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, The Bellingham Herald will do so as well, launching a new subscription package to access digital news.

Now, it’s never fun to ask anyone to pay for something that has been free. But providing unlimited access across all platforms for a small amount makes sense. It also gives us the ability to protect our most valuable product -- our content. I know it really doesn’t need to be said, but I’ll say it anyway -- a business that gives away its most valuable product for free is doomed.

The landscape of the newspaper industry has changed greatly with technology. The BellinghamHerald.com website launched in 1998 as a complement to our traditional printed newspaper. As technology has evolved it has become clear that our digital offerings are now just as important to our readers as is our printed newspaper that arrives at your home each morning. Before digital access, the only way to read The Bellingham Herald was to subscribe, buy a copy from a newsrack or store, or read a passed along copy.

As technology has changed, so has our newsroom. Our reporters break news throughout the 24-hour news cycle at BellinghamHerald.com, whether new stories or developments on continuing stories. That coverage is available at BellinghamHerald.com and also through news alerts for readers who want it delivered to their e-mail. The site also offers reporter’s blogs, photo galleries, databases and archives not available in print, as well as the opportunity for readers to weigh in on civic affairs through our online comments. Also available online is complete national and world news, sports and lifestyle coverage from the Associated Press and McClatchy Tribune News Service.

Our digital subscriptions include the Olive replica e-Edition of the printed newspaper, available on multiple devices, and various smartphone applications.

Print subscribers who register to activate their Bellingham Herald Plus account will continue to have free digital access until their current subscription renews. Upon renewal your subscription cost will increase 46 cents per week, or $2 per month. Digital-only readers who do not already subscribe will be asked to do so at a cost of $6.99 per month after an initial 99 cent "trial" month. We also have an annual digital-only package at a cost of $69.99 per year.

Go online to BellinghamHerald.com/plus to check subscription packages and pricing or to activate your digital account.

We are heading into our 123rd year of service to Whatcom County families. It is our commitment to continue to bring you news and information that earns your trust and makes a difference in your lives. We appreciate you reading The Bellingham Herald, whether you find us on newsprint, at BellinghamHerald.com, on our mobile site, with smartphone apps or tablets, or with the electronic replica of our paper.

We welcome your feedback as we move forward. If you have questions or comments, drop me a note at mark.owings@bellinghamherald.com, or contact our editor, Julie Shirley, at julie.shirley@bellinghamherald.com, or our Advertising and Marketing Director, Amber Aldrich, at amber.aldrich@bellinghamherald.com.

Mark Owings

President and publisher

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